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Canada's Wonderland

Canada's Wonderland
Canada's Wonderland logo
Slogan Thrills Connect
Location Vaughan, Ontario, Canada
Owner Cedar Fair Entertainment Company
General Manager Norm Pirtovshek, Vice President[1]
Opened 23 May 1981 (1981-05-23)
Previous names Paramount Canada's Wonderland (1993–2006)
Operating season late-April/early-May through late-October/early-November
Visitors per annum 3,546,000 in 2014[2]
Area 330 acres (130 ha)
Total 69
Roller coasters 16
Water rides 2
Website .com.canadaswonderlandwww

Canada's Wonderland is a 330-acre (130 ha) theme park located in Vaughan, Ontario, a suburb approximately 40 kilometres (25 mi) north of Toronto. Opened in 1981 by the Taft Broadcasting Company and The Great-West Life Assurance Company as the first major theme park in Canada, it remains the country's largest.[3][4] The park was owned by Paramount Parks from 1993 to 2006 when it was known as Paramount Canada's Wonderland. Cedar Fair Entertainment Company purchased the park in 2006 dropping Paramount from the title.[3] Canada's Wonderland has been the most visited seasonal amusement park in North America for several consecutive years.[5] In 2014, it was the second most visited park in the Cedar Fair chain, behind Knott's Berry Farm, with approximately 3.5 million visitors.[2]

Canada's Wonderland is open daily from May to September, and then only on weekends through early November. The park features 16 roller coasters, tied with Cedar Point for second-most roller coasters in an amusement park behind Six Flags Magic Mountain. Wonderland also features a 20-acre (81,000 m2) water park called Splash Works, and during the fall season, a Halloween-themed event called Halloween Haunt.


  • Park history 1
    • Predecessors 1.1
    • Planning 1.2
    • Construction and opening 1.3
    • Kings Entertainment and Paramount era 1.4
    • Cedar Fair era 1.5
  • Areas and attractions 2
    • International Street 2.1
    • International Festival 2.2
    • Action Zone 2.3
    • Medieval Faire 2.4
    • White Water Canyon 2.5
    • Children's areas 2.6
      • KidZville 2.6.1
      • Planet Snoopy 2.6.2
    • Splash Works 2.7
  • Fast Lane and Fast Lane Plus 3
  • Timeline 4
    • Major attractions by year 4.1
  • Location 5
    • Public transportation 5.1
  • Logos 6
  • See also 7
  • References 8
  • External links 9

Park history


When Canada's Wonderland was planned the region lacked a seasonal amusement park. Toronto had previously hosted two amusement parks which had roller-coasters, Sunnyside Amusement Park in the west end and Scarboro Beach Amusement Park in the east, but both were closed in the 1950s to build the Gardiner Expressway and housing developments, respectively.[6]


In 1972, the Taft Broadcasting Company, headed by Kelly Robinson, first proposed building a 330-acre (130 ha)[7] theme park in the then small village of Maple, part of Vaughan, Ontario. Several other possible locations in Ontario were considered, including Niagara Falls, Cambridge, and Milton, but Maple was finally selected because of its proximity to the City of Toronto and the 400-series of highways.[8]

Wonder Mountain and the Victoria Falls

Others had seriously considered the Greater Toronto Area as a spot to build a theme park, among them the Conklin family (whose Conklin Shows ran various midways around North America, including Toronto's Canadian National Exhibition midway). Walt Disney also considered the idea before choosing Florida, rejecting Toronto mainly because the climate was too cold, making the operating season too short to be profitable.[9]

Construction of the park was opposed on multiple fronts. Many cultural institutions in Toronto such as Ontario Place, the Royal Ontario Museum, and the operators of the Canadian National Exhibition felt that the Toronto market was not large enough to support more competition. Other groups that fought the building of Wonderland included a Vaughan residential association called SAVE, which thought the increased traffic would reduce property values. People in the region were concerned that the new park would be similar in aesthetics to a carnival or midway.[10] Some of the concessions the company made included a landscaped berm around the park to reduce noise and modifying the appearance of the large parking lot. Taft was concerned about opposition and flew a group of opponents and regional councilors to Mason, Ohio (near Cincinnati) to show them the positive impact of one of its theme parks on the local community.

Canada's Wonderland was also responsible for changing the master development plan for the province of Ontario. The provincial government wanted to increase residential and commercial development to the east of Toronto in the Regional Municipality of Durham, which includes Pickering and Oshawa, while keeping the lands to the north of Toronto agricultural, as a Greenbelt. The Wonderland promoters were able to convince the province to amend the planning policy for the region, and the park secured infrastructure improvements, including a highway overpass and sewage systems, that were expanded and built out to the site. This infrastructure paved the way for increased development throughout the region.[10]

Concerns were also raised about the cultural implications of allowing an American theme park to open in Canada. Many felt that it would be a "Trojan Horse" for American culture. To counter the criticism, Taft planned to open Frontier Canada, a part of the park devoted to Canada's history. Early park maps show the area encompassing what is now Splash Works, White Water Canyon, the F/X Theatre and the southern part of Kidzville. Taft also proposed including a steam passenger train. While Frontier Canada was never built, several original themes remain in the area. Unlike its sister parks, Kings Island and Kings Dominion, it was decided early that the centrepiece of the park would not be a replica of Paris's famous Eiffel Tower. Instead, the park's designers chose to build a massive mountain, known as Wonder Mountain, situated at the top of International Street. Wonder Mountain featured a huge waterfall and interior pathways that led visitors to a look-out point. Other planned elements that were never built include a hotel and conference centre, which was to have been constructed north of the park.[10]

Construction and opening

On 13 June 1979, Ontario Premier Bill Davis depressed the plunger on an electronic detonating device at St. Lawrence Hall in downtown Toronto, triggering an explosion on the site. Construction began immediately and continued on to early 1981. Canadian companies were partners on the preliminary design and engineering of the project. Construction of the mountain alone involved a dozen local companies under Cincinnati engineer Curtis D. Summers.[11]

Two years later on 23 May 1981, Davis, and Taft Broadcasting President Dudley Taft, officially opened Canada's Wonderland to the public. The spectacular opening ceremony included 10,000 helium balloons, 13 parachutists, 350 white doves, and a pipe band. Four children, representing the Arctic, Pacific, Atlantic, and Great Lakes regions of Canada, each poured a vial of water from their home regions into the park's fountain. Hockey superstar Wayne Gretzky also appeared as a special guest, helping to raise the Canadian flag. 12,000 guests were welcomed into the park for the first time.[10] The park cost $120 million ($309 million in 2016 dollars) to build.[3]

Kings Entertainment and Paramount era

A view of Splash Works from atop Behemoth with Mighty Canadian Minebuster in the foreground.

During the 1980s, Canada's Wonderland and the Loblaws supermarket chain mounted a cross-marketing campaign. Loblaws issued "Wonder dollars" based on customers' purchases, which were redeemable at Canada's Wonderland at par with the Canadian dollar on weekdays. The obverse of the coin featured Wonder Mountain, while the reverse featured the Loblaws logo.[12]

Kings Entertainment Company operated the park during the 1980s and early 1990s.[10] The park's former connection to Hanna-Barbera Productions lessened after Paramount Pictures raised its stake from 20% to full ownership of the park in 1993 and renamed it Paramount Canada's Wonderland. After Viacom bought Paramount in 1994, a successful attempt was made to bring families back to the park by attracting children with original Nickelodeon cartoon characters that were familiar to a new generation.[10]

Many changes occurred in the next decade. In 1996, Splash Works expanded, with a new water slide, a wave pool and a new child-friendly water playground (The Black Hole, White Water Bay and The Pump House). In 1998, the park expanded by adding KidZville, which was mainly designed for infants and children. In 1999, Splash Works expanded for the second time, with the addition of raft rides: The Plunge and Super Soaker.[13]

In 2001, a new themed area called Zoom Zone was added within the KidZville section. Three new attractions were built in that area: Silver Streak (a family roller coaster), Blast Off (a "frog hopper"), and Jumpin' Jet.[13] In 2002, the park unveiled Action Zone, a new themed area replacing the Exposition of 1890, which at the time contained already existing rides and added the Psyclone ride.

Splash Works also received its third and most current upgrade, with the addition of a child water playground area called Splash Island and the removal of Pipeline.[13]

On 11 May 2003, with the park packed with people for Mother's Day, two guests were involved in a fight at the front gates of the park, which led to a shooting death. It was thought to have followed a prior dispute involving the two over a drug exchange, according to York Regional Police. The park has since added metal detectors at the front gate, with additional security.[14]

In 2005, the park introduced Fearfest, a Halloween event featuring various haunted house attractions in different themed areas. Though the section for smaller children was closed off, the park continued running many of the thrill rides during the event, such as the Thunder Run, in which patrons ride a mining type train through a mountain. During the Halloween season, it is re-themed as the "Haunted" Thunder Run, with a darker tunnel and more strobe lights, fog machines, and black-light lit scenes featuring the "skeletons" of miners.[15]

In 2006, the park introduced Spooktacular, a child-oriented Halloween event. The event included children's rides, costume contests and a treasure hunt. Spooktacular was open on weekends during the daytime, while Fearfest remained open at night.[16] Due to very low attendance, Spooktacular only lasted one season.

Cedar Fair era

On 14 May 2006, Cedar Fair Entertainment Company announced it was interested in acquiring the five Paramount theme parks, including Canada's Wonderland. The acquisition completed on 30 June 2006.[17]

In early January 2007, Cedar Fair began to drop the name "Paramount" from all of the former Paramount properties it acquired, as a result the park has reverted to its original name of Canada's Wonderland. The 2007 season was a transition year throughout the park and included renaming the movie-themed rides since Cedar Fair did not hold the rights to Paramount film properties. By the start of the 2008 season, all Paramount logos and similar references had been removed.[13] In August 2007, Cedar Fair announced that Fearfest would become Halloween Haunt to remain consistent with other Cedar Fair parks,[15] and that Spooktacular would be discontinued. In its place, the park extended its regular operating season until the last weekend in October. Halloween Haunt runs in the late evenings on October weekends.

On 4 May 2008, Canada's Wonderland opened a hypercoaster called Behemoth, which held the record for the tallest and fastest roller coaster in Canada, standing at 230 feet (70 m) and reaching speeds of 77 miles per hour (124 km/h).[18][19][20]

On 19 July 2009, stunt performer Nik Wallenda walked on a tight rope from the pond area of Medieval Faire to Wonder Mountain.[21]

An aerial view of the park in May 2011.
An aerial view of the park in May 2011.

In 2011, Canada's Wonderland opened a 301-foot-tall (92 m) WindSeeker, making it the tallest ride in the park until Leviathan opened in 2012.[22][23] The park also announced the addition of the Starlight Spectacular show, which started on 25 June 2011 and ended on Labour Day, 3 September 2011.[23][24] It was a nightly 'light and sound show' designed to celebrate the park's 30th anniversary; it was shown at 10 pm EST every night on International Street.[23] Canada's Wonderland stated that the total cost for the show was approximately $1 million,[25] with 16 million different colours and 300,000 LED lights.[23] While the show took place at the front of the park (International Street), the highlight was on Wonder Mountain, with many 3D images and colours.[25]

Leviathan at night as seen from the parking lot.

In 2012, Leviathan, a Bolliger & Mabillard Hyper Coaster (also classified as a gigacoaster) opened, surpassing the Canadian records set by Behemoth in 2008, becoming the tallest and fastest roller coaster in Canada.[6][26] Norm Pirtovshek, Wonderland’s general manager, said that the Leviathan as a new attraction would help to spread out visitors. It was also described as part of a “roller coaster renaissance” where theme parks distinguished itself by introducing bigger and faster rides to attract guests. In addition to Leviathan, Canada's Wonderland also opened the Dinosaurs Alive! walk-through dinosaur exhibit.[27]

On 27 May 2012, for the first time in the park's history, Canada's Wonderland hosted a 1-kilometre, 5-kilometre, and 10-kilometre run to raise money for the planned Vaughan hospital that will be built on land once owned by Canada's Wonderland north of Major Mackenzie.[28]

On 30 August 2013, Canada's Wonderland announced that Wonder Mountain's Guardian will open inside the Wonder Mountain in May 2014, though after the official opening of the park but before Victoria Day. This ride is an interactive 4-D dark ride from Quebec-based Triotech Amusement.[29] Park management also announced that SkyRider would close Labour Day, 2014.[30]

In October 2014, a man was fatally stabbed at Halloween Haunt.[31][32]

SkyRider was removed at the end of the 2014 season and relocated to Cavallino Matto in Tuscany, Italy, as Freestyle.

Areas and attractions

The park has several themed areas. The four original sections include International Street, Medieval Faire, Grande World Exposition of 1890 (now Action Zone), and the Happyland of Hanna-Barbera (divided into more than one kids area since 1998).[3] The current areas include the original sections and White Water Canyon (1984), Splash Works (1992), and children's areas including Kidzville (1998), Zoom Zone (2001) and Planet Snoopy (2010).

International Street

Alpine Building on International Street, May 1981.

International Street is the park's entry area, similar to the Main Street, U.S.A. sections of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. Using a format borrowed from Kings Island and Kings Dominion, both sides of the street are lined with shops, including souvenir shops, clothing stores, restaurants, and candy stores. Wonder Mountain, the park's centrepiece, appears at the end of the street. In early decades, stores sold high-quality imported goods, themed to the buildings, and restaurants sold non-standard foods for a North American theme park, such as shrimp, paella, and smoked sausage.[33]

The buildings are named the Latin, Scandinavian, Mediterranean, and Alpine Buildings.[3]

International Festival

International Festival is located in the northeast section of the park and is home to fourteen games and six rides.[34] International Festival is most notable for its midway games.

Ride Year opened Manufacturer Description Rating[35]
The Fly[36] 1999 Mack Rides A wild Mouse roller coaster added as the eleventh roller coaster in the park. The ride begins with a 50 ft (15.24 m) drop, then returns up followed by a series of sharp turns, drops, then brakes. 4
Klockwerks[37] 1981 HUSS One of the original rides from when the park opened in 1981. 4
Slingshot[38] 2015 Funtime A separate fee is required for this ride 5
Thunder Run[39] 1981 Mack Rides A powered Mack Rides Blauer Enzian production model that was located in a different section of the park when the park first opened in 1981. In 1986, the ride was relocated to Wonder Mountain. The ride uses a drive motor with a rubber wheel in the front of the train to drive it around the track, rather than a traditional lift.[40] Thunder Run makes two passes through Wonder Mountain at the centre of the park. 4
Vortex[41] 1991 Arrow Dynamics A steel suspended roller coaster, similar to The Bat (formerly Flight Deck) at Kings Island (not to be confused with Wonderland's The Bat, which is of a different design). It was Canada's first suspended roller coaster when opened, and was the eighth roller coaster added to Canada's Wonderland. It shares Wonder Mountain with Thunder Run for its lift and first drop, but the majority of the ride takes place over the open water behind the mountain. 5
Wonder Mountain's Guardian[42] 2014 Triotech Amusement A 4D interactive dark ride roller coaster located inside Wonder Mountain. 4
Krachenwagen[43] 1981 Lusse Bros. A traditional bumper-car ride. Model: Auto Skooter. 4

Action Zone

Entrance plaza of Behemoth.

Action Zone was originally The Grande World Exposition of 1890 and is one of the original four themed areas at Wonderland. It was made to resemble an old world's fair, with expositions from different countries, focusing on African and Asian themes.[3] The restaurants and washrooms were formerly true to the exposition theme. One of the restaurants was called Ginza Gardens (now The Backlot Cafe) and had a Japanese theme and a Japanese façade. There is also an arcade area (Crystal Palace Arcade) within this section of the park. The Mighty Canadian Minebuster, one of the original four roller coasters, is on the outskirts of the Action Zone and was intended to be the centrepiece of the never-built Frontier Canada.[44]

In 2002, Action Zone was created as a new themed area within the Grande World Exposition of 1890.[13] However, the entire area was later renamed Action Zone.

Ride Year Opened Manufacturer Description Rating[35]
Antique Carousel 1981 Philadelphia Toboggan Coasters A carousel that was originally located in Palisades Park, New Jersey. The ride features 64 original hand-carved horses; the lead horse’s name is Caesar. 1
Backlot Stunt Coaster 2005 Premier Rides A family LIM-launched roller coaster based on the chase sequence of the 2003 remake of The Italian Job. Riders launch into a parking garage, dodge police cars, and are attacked by a helicopter, which ignites fire all around riders before hitting a second launch section, sending riders into pitch black darkness. Formerly known as The Italian Job: Stunt Track (2005–2007). 5
Behemoth 2008 Bolliger & Mabillard A steel hypercoaster built by Bolliger & Mabillard, and the park's fifteenth roller coaster, beginning operation in May 2008. It is currently the second tallest and fastest roller coaster in Canada, with a maximum height of 70 metres (230 feet) and a maximum speed of 125 km/h (78 mph). Rather than the standard, four-seat-across setup common in most B&M roller coasters, Behemoth features a new, "prototype" seating arrangement that has four seats arranged in a "V" formation. 5
Flight Deck 1995 Vekoma Canada's first inverted roller coaster and the ninth coaster added to the park. 5
Mighty Canadian Minebuster 1981 Curtis D. Summers/Taft Broadcasting A wooden roller coaster. It is one of the four roller coasters that debuted with the park in 1981, and is one of three wooden coasters at Canada's Wonderland modelled after a ride at Coney Island amusement park in Cincinnati, Ohio (The Shooting Star). Today, Minebuster is still the longest wooden coaster in Canada. 5
Orbiter 1981 HUSS A HUSS Giant Enterprise. It was dismantled in 2006 by previous owners Paramount but reopened in 2008 by Cedar Fair. 4
Psyclone 2002 Mondial The 1-minute and 54 second ride features 40 seats facing outwards that rotate from a central pendulum as the ride reaches its maximum arc angle of 120 degrees. 5
Sledgehammer 2003 HUSS A HUSS Giant Jumper. 5
Swing of the Century 1981 Zierer A Zierer Wave Swinger 36 model swing ride that rotates with a wave motion lifting riders up to 30 feet (9.14 m) in the air. 3
Time Warp 2004 Zamperla A steel flying roller coaster. It was the thirteenth roller coaster added to the park, and Canada's first "Flying Coaster." Riders lie flat on their stomachs in a car suspended from overhead, in order to take in the experience face-first. The ride has no vertical inversions, but contains two Heartline rolls. Formerly known as 'Tomb Raider: The Ride'. 5
WindSeeker 2011 Mondial A Tower swinger ride featuring two-person swings that slowly rotate and ascend the 301-foot (92 m) tower until reaching the top where speeds increase up to 30 miles per hour (48 km/h).[45] After several delays in May, it opened 21 June.[46] 4
Xtreme Skyflyer 1996 Sky Fun Pay-per-ride Double Skycoaster with a dive of 153 feet (47 m). Currently Canada's largest free-fall swing. 5

Medieval Faire

Entrance plaza of Leviathan

The Medieval Faire section of the park has a medieval European theme in both the setting and the rides. However, rides such as Drop Tower: Scream Zone and Speed City Raceway have no medieval theme. The two original roller coasters, Wild Beast and Dragon Fire had pseudo-Early Modern English spellings (Wilde Beast and Dragon Fyre) before 1997. The stores and restaurants follow the medieval theme, as does the castle theatre (Wonderland Theatre, originally Canterbury Theatre and Paramount Theatre during Paramount's ownership) and a pirate show (originally opened with the park as Sea Sceptre and now Kinet-X Dive Show) in the middle of Arthur's Baye. Wonderland Theatre hosted ice shows from 2006 to 2011, and hosted Cirque Ambiente in the summer of 2012 and 2013.

Ride Year Opened Manufacturer Description Rating[35]
Shockwave[47] 2001 Mondial A Mondial Top Scan that is located on the former site of Klockwerks before the attraction was relocated within the park. The ride spins around on an angle while guests (restrained on the seats) are spun around at almost every possible angle the ride operates on. 5
The Bat 1987 Vekoma A classic Vekoma Boomerang roller coaster. It was the seventh roller coaster added to the park. The Bat's train was originally from the park's Dragon Fire coaster. During the 2008 season The Bat's supports were painted orange.[48] 5
Dragon Fire 1981 Arrow Dynamics A steel roller coaster. It is one of the four roller coasters that debuted with the park in 1981. Uniquely, unlike the other roller coasters produced by Arrow that contain corkscrews, Dragon Fire's corkscrew runs counter-clockwise. While the ride came with 3 trains, only two are used for this ride, with the third being used for The Bat. 5
Drop Tower: Scream Zone 1997 Intamin A drop tower ride. All the former Paramount Parks have a ride similar to this with different heights. Formerly known as 'Drop Zone: Stunt Tower' (1997–2007). 5
Leviathan 2012 Bolliger & Mabillard Bolliger & Mabillard's first installation of a giga coaster, Leviathan, is the tallest and fastest roller coaster in Canada. It became the park's sixteenth roller coaster and ranks high among the tallest roller coasters in the world. 5
Night Mares 1981 HUSS Riders are lifted 49 feet (14.94 m) in the air while spinning from a horizontal to vertical position. 4
The Rage 1981 HUSS A HUSS swinging ship ride. 3
Riptide 2000 Mondial A Mondial Splashover Top Spin. 5
Speed City Raceway 1997 J&J Amusements Go karts; pay-per-use 4
Spinovator 1981 Heinrich Mack GMBH & Co A Mack Calypso Teacups ride. Originally called Quixote's Kettles (1981–1997). 3
Wild Beast 1981 Curtis D. Summers/Taft Broadcasting A wooden roller coaster. It is one of the four roller coasters that debuted with the park in 1981, and is one of two wooden coasters at Canada's Wonderland modelled after a ride at Coney Island amusement park in Cincinnati, Ohio (Wildcat) 5

White Water Canyon

Matching with the tree cover, a rural-look building.

This section of the park is thickly surrounded by trees. It was introduced in 1984, when the White Water Canyon ride debuted. It is where the Frontier Canada themed area had been promised (along with Splash Works).[49]

Ride Year opened Manufacturer Description Rating[35]
Action Theatre 1994 Iwerks Entertainment A 3D theatre, which houses the Lost World 3D movie, which was introduced in 2014. (This movie uses a pay-per-use system). No Rating
Launch Pad N/A N/A An attraction where guests are hooked up to a series of cables and are given the opportunity to jump high in the air on a trampoline. This is a pay-per-use attraction. 4
Timberwolf Falls 1989 O.D. Hopkins & Associates A Shoot the Chute water ride. 4
White Water Canyon 1984 Intamin A river rapids ride 4

Children's areas

The children's areas in Canada's Wonderland all began as The Happyland of Hanna-Barbera. The three areas were themed as Yogi's Woods, Scoobyville, and Bedrock; the first was converted to Smurf Village in 1984. In 1993, the Smurf area transitioned to Kids Kingdom, which became Kidzville in 1998. In 2003, Bedrock became Nickelodeon Central. Planet Snoopy, based on the comic strip Peanuts, replaced Nickelodeon Central for the 2010 season, standardizing the park with the rest of the Cedar Fair chain. A fourth themed area is Zoom Zone. Quite small, it is part of Kidzville. Created in 2001 with the debut of Silver Streak, it also contains the small rides Blast Off, and Jumpin' Jet. One of the Kidzville rides, and originally a Kids Kingdom ride, Jumbo Bumps, was removed to make way for these three rides and the new section. Starting in 2004, Zoom Zone was no longer shown on park maps as an independent section. However, since Cedar Fair's takeover, each of the three rides mentions it is in Zoom Zone, and park signage continues to use the name.[8] Currently, KidZville and Planet Snoopy are the only children's areas.[50]

The first ride accident in the park's history occurred on 23 August 2003, when the Jimmy Neutron Brainwasher (now Woodstock Whirlybirds) fell apart. Three children were sent to hospital as a precautionary measure.[51]


A Peanuts-themed stage show, at Canada's Wonderland.

KidZville is one of the two current children's areas at Canada's Wonderland. The current rides are:

Ride Height Requirement Manufacturer Rating[35]
Blast Off Over 36 in or 91 cm S&S Worldwide 2 [52]
Chopper Chase Under 48 in or 122 cm Caripro Amusement Technology 2 [53]
Flavourator Under 44 in or 112 cm Zamperla 2 [54]
Frequent Flyers N/A Bradley & Kaye 2 [55]
Jokey's Jalopies Under 46 in or 117 cm Bradley & Kaye 2 [56]
Jumpin' Jet Under 42 in or 107 cm Zamperla 3 [57]
KidZville Station Under 40 in or 102 cm Mack Rides 2 [58]
Silver Streak Over 44 in or 112 cm Vekoma 4 [59]
Swing Time Over 36 in or 91 cm Zamperla 1 [60]
Taxi Jam Over 36 in or 91 cm E&F Miler Industries 2 [61]

Planet Snoopy

Planet Snoopy is the newest children's area that opened in 2010. The current rides are:

The Pumpkin Patch ride
Ride Height Requirement Manufacturer Rating[35]
Boo Blasters on Boo Hill Over 46 in or 117 cm Sally Corporation 2 [62]
Character Carrousel Over 46 in or 117 cm Chance Rides 1 [63]
Dinosaurs Alive! No Height Requirement Dinosaurs Unearthed N/A [27]
Ghoster Coaster Over 40 in or 102 cm Philadelphia Toboggan Coasters 4 [64]
Joe Cool's Dodgem School Over 36 in or 91 cm Lusse Brothers Incorporated 2 [65]
Lucy's Tugboat Under 48 in or 122 cm Zamperla 2 [66]
Peanuts 500 Over 42 in or 107 cm Zamperla 2 [67]
The Pumpkin Patch Under 48 in or 122 cm SBF Visa Group 2 [68]
Sally's Love Buggies Over 42 in or 107 cm Eureka 2 [69]
Snoopy vs Red Baron Over 32 in or 81 cm Herschell 2 [70]
Snoopy's Revolution Under 42 in or 107 cm Zamperla 2 [71]
Snoopy's Space Race N/A Intamin 2 [72]
Swan Lake Under 48 in or 122 cm Bradley & Kaye 1 [73]
Woodstock Whirlybirds Under 40 in or 102 cm SBF Visa Group 3 [74]

Splash Works

Opened in 1992, Splash Works is a 20-acre (8.1 ha) water park. The water park is home to Whitewater Bay, the largest outdoor wave pool in Canada,[75] and 16 water slides. It is included with the price of admission to Canada's Wonderland and is open during the summer months.

Fast Lane and Fast Lane Plus

Fast Lane is Canada's Wonderland's 'two line' system since 2012, which is also implemented at other Cedar Fair parks. For a cost between $55 and $65 (in addition to normal admission charges), visitors receive a wrist band that enables them to bypass the 'normal-wait' line and enter the 'Fast Lane'. Opting for this benefit essentially allows purchasers to cut in at the front of the line on 18 of the most popular attractions without waiting. An unspecified limited amount of passes are sold each day.[76]


Today, Canada's Wonderland has over 200 attractions (including games), with over 60 thrill rides. The park holds a number of Canadian records, among them the most roller coasters, with 16.[77] The park encompasses eight themed areas on 330 acres (130 ha) of land, with an artificial mountain as the central feature. In the southwestern quadrant, a 20 acres (8.1 ha) waterpark called Splash Works has over 2 million US gallons (7,570,000 l) of heated water, Canada's largest outdoor wave pool, measuring 36,000 square feet (3,300 m2), a lazy river, and 16 water slides.[8]

In 1983, Canada's Wonderland added the Kingswood Music Theatre, a 15,000 seat amphitheatre that has hosted many "big-name" concerts. After the Molson Amphitheatre opened on the grounds of Ontario Place in 1995, cultural festivals at the theatre became less prominent.[8]

Major attractions by year

The Rage, a pirate ship ride
The Rage (2007) opened with Canada's Wonderland in 1981.

Jet Scream, a looping starship ride
The Jet Scream "looping starship" ride (2003), removed at the end of the 2010 season to make room for WindSeeker.

Psyclone, a pendulum ride
Psyclone (2005), built for the 2002 season.

Current name in (parentheses)

  • 1981: Park opens with:
Antique Carousel, Balloon Race (Frequent Flyers), Bayern's Curve, Bedrock Dock "now operates at Carowinds as "Snoopy's Yacht Club", Blauer Enzian (Thunder Run-Opened in Wonder Mountain 1986), Dragon Fire, Flintstone's Flyboys, Ghoster Coaster, Great Whale of China "now operates at Carowinds as "PEANUTS Pirates", Happy Landing (Swan Lake), Hot Rock Raceway, Klockwerks, Krachenwagon, Mighty Canadian Minebuster,Pharaoh's Eye, Wilde Beast (Wild Beast), Quixote's Kettles (Spinovator), Scooby Choo (KidZville Station), Shiva's Fury (The Fury), Sol-loco (Orbiter), Swings of the Century, Wilde Knightmares (Night Mares), Viking's Rage (The Rage), Wonder Tour, and Zumba Flume.
  • 1982: Kings Courtyard (The Courtyard)
  • 1983: Kingswood Music Theatre
  • 1984: White Water Canyon, Smurf Forest (until the 1990s)
  • 1985: SkyRider
  • 1986: Thunder Run (formerly Blauer Enzian)
  • 1987: The Bat
  • 1988: Racing Rivers
  • 1989: Timberwolf Falls
  • 1990: Jet Scream
  • 1991: Vortex
  • 1992: Splash Works: Whirl Winds, Body Blast, Splash Island Kiddy Slides
  • 1993: Kid's Kingdom play area (later renovated and renamed Candy Factory)
  • 1994: "Days of Thunder" – Motion Simulator Movie Ride (Action Theatre – Currently Playing "Monsters of the Deep 3D")
  • 1995: Top Gun (Flight Deck)
  • 1996: Xtreme Skyflyer; Splash Works Expansion: Wave Pool, The Pump House, Black Hole,Speed City Raceway
  • 1997: Drop Zone: Stunt Tower (later renamed Drop Tower: Scream Zone)
  • 1998: KidZville, James Bond – "License To Thrill" (feature at Action Theatre), The Edge Climbing Wall
  • 1999: The Fly; SplashWorks Expansion: Super Soaker and The Plunge; "Dino Island II: Escape from Dino Island 3D" (feature at Action Theatre)
  • 2000: Cliffhanger (Later renamed Riptide), Scooby-Doo's Haunted Mansion (Boo Blasters on Boo Hill)
  • 2001: Shockwave; Zoom Zone (new kids area) including: Silver Streak, Blast Off and Jumping Jet; "Stan Lee's 7th Portal 3D" (feature at the Action Theatre)
  • 2002: Psyclone; SplashWorks Expansion: Riptide Racer, Barracuda Blaster and Kids Sprayground
  • 2003: Sledge Hammer, Nickelodeon Central (replacing Bedrock), "Warrior of the Dawn" (in Action Theatre), "SpongeBob SquarePants 3-D" (feature in Action Theatre), Launch Pad (trampolines; requires separate fee)
  • 2004: Tomb Raider: The Ride (later renamed Time Warp); The return of "Days of Thunder" (feature at Action Theatre)
  • 2005: Italian Job: Stunt Track (later renamed Backlot Stunt Coaster)
  • 2006: "The Funtastic World of Hanna-Barbara" (feature at the Action Theatre), Nickelodeon Celebration Parade, Hollywood Stunt Spectacular
  • 2007: Coasters 50s Diner, International Marketplace Buffet, Picnic Pavilion
  • 2008: Behemoth
  • 2010: Planet Snoopy
  • 2011: WindSeeker, Starlight Spectacular, VIP Tour Program,
  • 2012: Leviathan, Dinosaurs Alive!,[27] Starlight Spectacular, "Dinosaurs: Giants of Patagonia 3D" (feature at the Action Theatre),[78] Fast Lane
  • 2013: "Monsters of the Deep 3D" (feature at the Action Theatre)[79]
  • 2014: Wonder Mountain's Guardian[80]
  • 2015: SlingShot, SplashWorks: Typhoon and Splash Station
  • 2016: Flying Eagles and Skyhawk

Current name in (brackets)


Canada's Wonderland is east of Highway 400 between Rutherford Road (Exit 33) and Major Mackenzie Drive (Exit 35), 13 km (8.1 mi) north of Highway 401, 6 kilometres (3.7 mi) north of Highway 407 and 64 km (40 mi) south of Barrie. It is bounded by Highway 400 to the west, Jane Street to the east, Major Mackenzie Drive to the north and an access road approximately one kilometre north of Rutherford Road to the south. Originally when the park opened, its surroundings were largely rural, however the suburban sprawl since the mid-2000s has resulted in it being surrounded by housing and shopping plazas on all sides. The park has two public entrances and one entrance for staff, deliveries, and buses.

Public transportation

Regular transit access is provided by York Region Transit (YRT), while GO Transit and MiWay run special services. The bus loop at Wonderland is located near the northeast corner of the park, and is accessible from the service entrance on Jane Street, north of Major Mackenzie Drive. Transportation to the Wonderland Terminal is available from the following regional transit organizations:

  • Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) on behalf of York Region Transit: Toronto – Route 165 Weston Road North bus to Canada's Wonderland from York Mills subway station via Wilson subway station. Extra fare is required north of Steeles Avenue.[81]
  • MiWay (Mississauga Transit): Route 88, express, non-stop trip between Canada's Wonderland and Mississauga's Square One Shopping Centre.[82]
  • York Region Transit: Route 20 Jane-Concord provides service along the Jane Street corridor from York University to Teston Road. YRT Route 87 Langstaff-Maple serve the park from nearby stops on Jane Street during rush hours only. YRT Route 760 Vaughan Mills/Wonderland services the park from Vaughan Mills Mall, Richmond Hill Centre, Finch Station and Yonge Street from Highway 7 to Finch Avenue.[83][84][85]
  • GO Transit: Wonderland GO Bus Service (Route 60) from York Mills Bus Terminal and Yorkdale Bus Terminal.[86]

York Region Transit used to provide an express Magic Wonderbus service from Newmarket and Markham,[87] but this service was discontinued for the 2007 season. Route 4 Major Mackenzie no longer serves the Wonderland bus loop. However it still runs along Jane Street past the park.


The park, from its opening in 1981, was known as Canada's Wonderland. In 1994, when Paramount Pictures (later Viacom) purchased the property, the name of the park changed to include the word Paramount, a practice Paramount Parks implemented with all of its parks in 1993. Prior to that, none of the Paramount-owned parks included Paramount in the name.

In 2003, Viacom updated the logo of Paramount Parks, and all its theme parks, including Wonderland, to include an updated Paramount logo, even though the logo for Paramount Pictures, the film studio, remained unchanged.

In 2006, CBS Corporation (split from Viacom in 2005) sold all of its theme park properties to Cedar Fair Entertainment Company, which in turn, dropped the Paramount prefixes from all five parks (and thus reverted to their original names), and adopted a Cedar Fair logo and font.

See also


  1. ^ "Norm Pirtovshek has a need for speed - and he has the perfect job as VP and GM of Canada’s Wonderland". Good Life Mississauga. May–June 2012. Retrieved 2014-09-24. 
  2. ^ a b "TEA/AECOM 2014 Global Attractions Attendance Report Report" (PDF).  
  3. ^ a b c d e f Malcolm, Andrew H. (24 May 1981). "A Theme Park Called Wonderland Opens Near Toronto".  
  4. ^ "Top 10 Theme Parks is Canada". Retrieved 4 September 2011. 
  5. ^ "Canada’s Wonderland Rated The Most Popular Seasonal Park in North America!". 5 April 2007. Archived from the original on 15 December 2007. Retrieved 12 September 2011. 
  6. ^ a b Hunter, Paul (27 April 2012). "Canada’s Wonderland’s new roller coaster, Leviathan, tallest, fastest in Canada".  
  7. ^ Maple Theme Park. Toronto, ON: Canada's Wonderland Ltd. 1979. 
  8. ^ a b c d "Canada's Wonderland History". Canada's Wonderland. Retrieved 13 September 2011. 
  9. ^ Cameron, James M.; Bordessa, Ronald (1 January 1981). Wonderland through the looking glass: Politics, culture, and planning in international recreation. Maple, ON: Belsten.  
  10. ^ a b c d e f "Canada's Wonderland History". CW Mania. Retrieved 8 September 2011. 
  11. ^ Cowan, James (September 2001). "View to a thrill". Toronto Life. 
  12. ^ "Canada's Wonderland Wonder Dollar". Seravia. Retrieved 10 September 2011. 
  13. ^ a b c d e Cowan, Chris (13 May 2006). "Paramount Canada's Wonderland". Theme Park Timelines. Retrieved 12 September 2011. 
  14. ^ "Canada's Wonderland Shooting". Canadian Firearms Digest. Retrieved 14 September 2011. 
  15. ^ a b "Canada's Wonderland Halloween Haunt Description". CW Mania. Retrieved 14 September 2011. 
  16. ^ "Wonderland celebrates Halloween fun". Caledon Citizen. 11 October 2006. Retrieved 22 September 2011. 
  17. ^ "Sale of Paramount Parks to Cedar Fair, L.P.". 22 May 2006. Archived from the original on 5 October 2007. Retrieved 12 September 2011. 
  18. ^ Harpaz, Beth J. (25 May 2011). "New parks, rides and attractions are opening all over".  
  19. ^ Lem, Sharon (18 August 2011). "Canada's Wonderland to debut new coaster".  
  20. ^ "Riding the Behemoth".  
  21. ^ Lem, Sharon (1 August 2011). "Walking Wonderland, 30 metres up".  
  22. ^ Thomaidis, Irene (25 August 2010). "Wonderland reaches new heights". Toronto Sun. Retrieved 22 September 2011. 
  23. ^ a b c d Fox, Jim (8 June 2011). "Defy gravity at Canada's Wonderland". Toronto Sun. Retrieved 22 September 2011. 
  24. ^ Canada's Wonderland (June 2011). "Canada's Wonderland: New Attractions for 2011" (Press release). 
  25. ^ a b "Canada's Wonderland Starlight Spectacular". Canada's Wonderland. Retrieved 24 June 2011. 
  26. ^ MacDonald, Brady (18 August 2011). "Canada's Wonderland to add Leviathan coaster in 2012".  
  27. ^ a b c "Dinosaurs Alive!" (Press release). Canada's Wonderland. Archived from the original on 14 October 2011. Retrieved 14 October 2011. 
  28. ^ "Run For Vaughan Event Schedule". Run For Vaughan. Retrieved 11 May 2012. 
  29. ^ "Canada’s Wonderland to introduce dark, interactive ride for 2014". Toronto Star. 30 August 2013. Retrieved 24 September 2014. 
  30. ^ Chubb, Christine (6 August 2014). "Wonderland to close SkyRider this September". CFTR (AM) News. Retrieved 24 September 2014. 
  31. ^
  32. ^
  33. ^ Around Canada's Wonderland. Maple ON: Canada Wonderland. 1982. 
  34. ^ Canada's Wonderland 2008 Games Department Handbook; p.35.
  35. ^ a b c d e f Ratings assigned per Canada's Wonderland, where "1" is the least intense and "5" is the most. See their "2012 Guest Assistance Guide" (PDF). Canada's Wonderland.  for more specific details.
  36. ^ "The Fly". Canada's Wonderland. Retrieved 19 July 2012. 
  37. ^ "Klockwerks". Canada's Wonderland. Retrieved 19 July 2012. 
  38. ^
  39. ^ "Thunder Run". Canada's Wonderland. Retrieved 19 July 2012. 
  40. ^ "Blauer Enzian". Roller Coaster DataBase. Retrieved 2014-09-25. 
  41. ^ "Vortex". Canada's Wonderland. Retrieved 19 July 2012. 
  42. ^ "Wonder Mountain's Guardian". Canada's Wonderland. Retrieved 31 May 2014. 
  43. ^ "Krachenwagon". Canada's Wonderland. Retrieved 6 November 2012. 
  44. ^ "Mighty Canadian Minebuster". CWMania. Retrieved 12 September 2011. 
  45. ^ "WindSeeker". Kings Island. Retrieved 24 August 2010. 
  46. ^ "Kings Island: Opening date for WindSeeker yet to be confirmed". Theme Park Tourist. Retrieved 1 June 2011. 
  47. ^ "Shockwave". Canada's Wonderland. Retrieved 19 July 2012. 
  48. ^ Marden, Duane. "Bat  (Canada's Wonderland)".  
  49. ^ "From Dream to Reality (A History of Canada's Wonderland)". CW Mania. Retrieved 21 May 2012. 
  50. ^ "Planet Snoopy to open in 2010". 21 August 2009. Retrieved 11 July 2012. 
  51. ^ "Accidents at Canada's Wonderland". Theme Park Inside. Retrieved 9 September 2011. 
  52. ^ "Blast Off!". Canada's Wonderland. Retrieved 13 July 2012. 
  53. ^ "Chopper Chase". Canada's Wonderland. Retrieved 13 July 2012. 
  54. ^ "Flavourator". Canada's Wonderland. Retrieved 13 July 2012. 
  55. ^ "Frequent Flyers". Canada's Wonderland. Retrieved 13 July 2012. 
  56. ^ "Jokeys Jalopies". Canada's Wonderland. Retrieved 13 July 2012. 
  57. ^ "Jumpin' Jet". Canada's Wonderland. Retrieved 13 July 2012. 
  58. ^ "KidZville Station". Canada's Wonderland. Retrieved 13 July 2012. 
  59. ^ "Silver Streak". Canada's Wonderland. Retrieved 13 July 2012. 
  60. ^ "Swing Time". Canada's Wonderland. Retrieved 13 July 2012. 
  61. ^ "Taxi Jam". Canada's Wonderland. Retrieved 13 July 2012. 
  62. ^ "Boo Blasters on Boo Hill". Canada's Wonderland. Retrieved 13 July 2012. 
  63. ^ "Character Carrousel". Canada's Wonderland. Retrieved 13 July 2012. 
  64. ^ "Ghoster Coaster". Canada's Wonderland. Retrieved 13 July 2012. 
  65. ^ "Ghoster Coaster". Canada's Wonderland. Retrieved 13 July 2012. 
  66. ^ "Lucy's Tugboat". Canada's Wonderland. Retrieved 13 July 2012. 
  67. ^ "Peanuts 500". Canada's Wonderland. Retrieved 13 July 2012. 
  68. ^ "The Pumpkin Patch". Canada's Wonderland. Retrieved 13 July 2012. 
  69. ^ "Sally's Love Buggies". Canada's Wonderland. Retrieved 13 July 2012. 
  70. ^ "Snoopy vs Red Baron". Canada's Wonderland. Retrieved 13 July 2012. 
  71. ^ "Snoopy's Revolution". Canada's Wonderland. Retrieved 13 July 2012. 
  72. ^ "Snoopy's Space Race". Canada's Wonderland. Retrieved 13 July 2012. 
  73. ^ "Swan Lake". Canada's Wonderland. Retrieved 13 July 2012. 
  74. ^ "Woodstock Whirlybids". Canada's Wonderland. Retrieved 13 July 2012. 
  75. ^ Vermond, Kira (19 June 2004). "Where the wild rides are".  
  76. ^ "Fast Lane at Canada's Wonderland". Cedar Fair. Retrieved 7 August 2014. 
  77. ^ "Canada Roller Coaster Records". Coaster Enthusiasts of Canada. 28 August 2011. Retrieved 9 September 2011. 
  78. ^ "Canada's Wonderland Live Entertainment". Canada's Wonderland. Retrieved 20 March 2011. 
  79. ^ "Monsters of the Deep 3D". Archived from the original on 9 August 2013. 
  80. ^ "Wonder Mountain's Guardian". Canada's Wonderland. Retrieved 24 September 2014. 
  81. ^ "TTC Route 165 Map". TTC. Retrieved 11 September 2011. 
  82. ^ "Mississauga Transit Route 88/88E" (PDF). Mississauga Transit. Retrieved 11 September 2011. 
  83. ^ "YRT Route 20" (PDF). YRT (York Region Transit). Retrieved 11 September 2011. 
  84. ^ "YRT Route 87" (PDF). YRT (York Region Transit). Retrieved 11 September 2011. 
  85. ^ "YRT Route 780" (PDF). YRT (York Region Transit). Retrieved 31 July 2012. 
  86. ^ "GO Transit Route 60" (PDF). GO Transit. Retrieved 11 September 2011. 
  87. ^ "Magic Wonderbus" (PDF). York Region Transit. Retrieved 11 September 2011. 

External links

  • Official website
  • Park map
  • Canada's Wonderland at the Roller Coaster DataBase
  • CW Mania, fan forum about Canada's Wonderland
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